The 2013 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour champion, Bernd Schneider, has declared the race one of the true challenges in world motorsport.
Schneider, a DTM champion and enduring Mercedes GT ace, says the mountain classic is an event that every professional driver should do once in their life.
The German motor racing icon returns to Mount Panorama this year with the HTP Mercedes squad in an AMG GT GT3 with Mathias Lauda – son of three-times Formula 1 World Champion Niki, ex-Formula 1 driver Pedro Lamy and American endurance specialist, Paul Dalla Lana.
“I think for every race driver, it is something special to be at Bathurst. As a professional racing driver you have to do it once in your life,” Schneider said.
“I hope that we can have a lot of fun and enjoy the 12 Hour.
“It is a tough competition with that car (the AMG GT) and one of the best tracks in the world.
“Definitely it is one of the most challenging race circuits in the world, a bit like Nurburgring Nordschleife.
“I’m really, really happy to have the chance to drive here again, especially with our new GT.”
Schneider added that the depth of the field this year provides a list loaded with outright contenders.
“I think we have a few cars that are strong in the field. Especially our team partners are really strong and have a good chance.
“Depending a little on the BoP (Balance of Performance) – at Bathurst you need a lot of power and I think the driver line up and car wise we are in good shape.
“The weather forecast is not straightforward with some thunderstorms for Sunday.
“At the moment we are not thinking about success, we are looking forward to driving on the track again and see how the car works.”
The HTP AMG is one of three entries from the former race winning marque along with the STM entry for Shane van Gisbergen, Maro Engel and Craig Baird Hog’s Breath-backed entry for Mark Griffith, Dominic Storey and David Reynolds.